German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to China this month, her 12th so far, shows the two countries' willingness to confront challenges together in the face of a complicated and volatile international situation.
Both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met her, reflecting the tradition of high-level exchanges. The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation.
Merkel is one of the Western leaders who have paid the most visits to China during their terms and who know China well. Germany has been China's largest trading partner in Europe for over four decades, and for the past three years China has become the largest trading partner of Germany. The two countries have expanded cooperation in trade and economy and in future, will collaborate in emerging fields such as autonomous driving, new-energy vehicles, intelligent manufacturing, artificial intelligence, digitalization and 5G.
Merkel also visited Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, to promote regional cooperation between the two countries. German enterprises are taking part in China's regional development strategies such as the Yangtze River Economic Belt, which focuses on green development and ecological conservation in a sprawling region made up of nine provinces and two municipalities.
During Merkel's visit, China and Germany, the second and fourth largest economy in the world respectively, reached broad consensus on safeguarding multilateralism and the free trade system centered around the World Trade Organization, reforming global governance and strengthening communication and coordination in international affairs. Both welcomed each other's enterprises to invest in their countries.
Xi said the economic and trade cooperation agreements reached during Merkel's visit to China prove that China has matched its words with deeds to expand reform and opening up. He added that the Chinese market is large enough and will grow larger as China develops, which will bring more opportunities to Germany and the rest of the world.
Merkel expressed her wish to wrap up negotiations on the China-Europe investment agreement when Germany assumes presidency of the EU Council in 2020 to consolidate the China-Europe trade partnership.
Merkel stressed that China's development, which also serves the interests of other countries, should not be hindered.
All these reflect the two countries' stand to respect each other's development path and core interests. As two major world economies, trading partners and supporters of multilateralism, the two countries' relationship has been strengthened after the meeting, which would also stabilize international relations.